Video Games May Desensitize Youth, But Nothing More

1630 words - 7 pages

Parents have a reason to be afraid. In this age, youngsters can casually hop online and quickly find an easy recipe on how to make their favorite deadly explosive, many schools now have metal detectors at the doors to prevent armed students from massacring their peers, drugs flow freely down suburban streets, and children have unprecedented access to. . . . .video games?

It may seem a bit odd to place video games in the same category as the other frightening facts parents have to deal with, but in the past few years, violent acts of crime have become more and more common among teenagers. Parents looking to find a reason for this have turned to violent video games, which have also had a large growth over the past few years. Since almost every parent will have kids at some point who play video games, one of the most important topics facing them should be the deceptively simple question: Do violent video games cause violence in youth?

Games like SiN put you behind the gun of a futuristic law enforcer who's job is to shoot anyone with a gun, but there are no consequences for shooting innocents. Your enemies scream "Aaaargh! My eye, My eye!" while your character chuckles and retorts "Who's your daddy?" The game Duke Nukem 3D features a steroid pumped, foul mouthed, alien fighter whom you gladly take the role of. His hobbies are big guns, stopping to chat with the go-go dancers, and even bigger guns. Games such as these are the experiences that many teenagers come home to every day after school. After taking a quick look at games like this, common sense would tell you that games obviously cause violence in teens. However, the argument is too complex to justify the simple `yes' answer that common sense assigns the question.

Critics of the violence in video games say children are too impressionable to sit for five hours a day not just witnessing violence, but interacting with it. They claim that all the negative imagery on the screen seeps into teens' subconscious and desensitizes them. A child will learn what he is exposed to most often, and in most video games, violence is the primary problem-solving option (Schroeder). When provoked, these teens react in a violent manner because it is what they have been taught by video games.

Others say that video games have merely been made a scapegoat by the faulty parents of America who are afraid to admit their own part in the problem. The movie and television industry also point the finger at video games because as long as games are being blamed, the movies and television are safe. Supporters of video games say that video game players are all over America, and yet only a few have committed horrific acts of violence. They say these select few were mentally unstable before playing video games, and it is just coincidence that they were gamers. "I've been a computer nerd since I was a kid and I'm not going crazy any time soon" says Brian Deuell, an avid video game player....

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